This is our last week in our look at the life of Jacob (through the book "Escaping with Jacob" by David Ramos), Jacob's life journey is over, and it is time for him to return from Egypt to the land of his fathers. Jacob's life was a story of ups and downs in his walk with God and his life is a reminder to me that God uses imperfect people to accomplish great things.
Week 30: Read Genesis 50:2-14 (Our Quiet Hope)
"The final chapter in Genesis follows the magnificent burial progression of Jacob. Joseph held true to his father and prepared to return him to the land of promise. Along with this, Pharaoh spared no expense. He wanted the father of his most prized dignitary to be honored to the highest degree. Jacob was returned to the land of his fathers with all of his descendants and a crowd of Egyptian officials following along. Jacob was laid to rest alongside his family as a beacon of hope, that one day all of Israel would return to their rightful home.
The story of Jacob ends with a quiet hope. Jacob did not live an easy life. Much of it had to do with his own poor choices. But nevertheless, God never abandoned him. He never said to Jacob, you are too much work of you should know this by now. Instead, God guided him softly and patiently. Slowly bringing the world of Israel together in such a way as to lay the groundwork for the promises that were to come. Much of that work involved pain and patience. Jacob grew accustomed to bowing to God's timeline, even when he didn't understand it.
One of the last lessons Jacob's story leaves us with is that we can have hope in the midst of hopeless circumstances. Jacob's family is left to live in another country, far away from where their ultimate destiny lies. And yet, even this is part of God's overarching plan. Jacob learned to trust a God he could not understand, who did things contrary to how he thought they should be done. His life is a challenge to us. We will undoubtedly be faced with circumstances out of our control, and brought to places that appear so far from God's will that we will be left crying out, "Where are you God ... what are you doing?"
It's in these trials that Jacob's story offers us a quiet hope. God knows what he is doing with your story. As simple as it may sound, it is also one of the most powerful truths in the Bible. We are a people of promise and God is bringing us to where we need to be. So, live a life of power, of promise, and of hope and God will do the rest."
Are there times you have strongly felt God working in your life? Times when you have wondered if God may have forgotten you? Jacob went through such times repeatedly in his life, and yet as we have looked back on his story over thirty weeks of study, we see God with Jacob in all times of life. Even when Jacob turned away from or forgot about God, God was still there. Just as God is with us.
Takeaway from today's lesson: God knows what he is doing with our stories.
Prayer: God, thank you that my story, like Jacob's, is a story of promise. Help me to live in the balance of extraordinary faith and quiet hope. Amen.